Life Lessons from My 4 Year Old

Being a parent is a tough, but rewarding job. You spend day in and day out catering to the needs of the tiny humans, making a million decisions, small and large, hoping and praying that you are sending them down the right path to become kind, capable, confident, purpose-driven adults.

Sometimes, though, we forget that in teaching our children to be tiny humans, there is an amazing beauty in what they can remind and teach us about life, especially when they are small.

The other day I saw someone post this quote on twitter:

“Whatever you are doing today, do it with the confidence of a 4 year old in a batman shirt.”

It was pretty funny because on that particular day, my 4 year old just so happened to be in a batman shirt. Serendipitous, really. It was like that quote was meant for me.

Many adults struggle with confidence, but when you reflect on the noble intentions, confidence, and positivity of that young superhero, it’s inspirational.

What would your life be like if you wore whatever made you feel powerful (unaffected by the societal norm and/or judging eyes), strutted into rooms like you were there for an amazing purpose (even if it is just the grocery store), announced yourself to others with a welcoming smile, head held high, and took every opportunity to wield your super powers to make the world a better place?

(And if you don’t think a 4 year old in a batman shirt has super powers, try to gaze on that greatness without smiling. The power of cuteness is nearly impossible to overcome.)

Imagine the impact if every person walked into the grocery store intent with the purpose of making others smile.

I want to shop there for sure.

When you are considering stepping out and doing something others may deem “different” don’t be afraid to say, “Why not?” and give it a go!

Now, my 4 year old (as any) is not perfect. He has tantrums still…(seriously, he is 4…can we be done with that phase???) Honestly, come to think about it, I think as an adult, I sometimes have tantrums. They are just a bit more controlled. (usually…) I mean, why do you think bitmojis like this one exist?

We all have bad moments. My 4 year old will have a tantrum, and 15 minutes later, he is having the time of his life. It’s beautiful, really. Shift away from bad moments like a 4 year old. Seriously. Over, past, forgotten, moved on. Find something fun and embrace the possibilities that lie ahead. Joy can be found in so many places if you just look. On your worst days, even in your worst moments, try to look beyond and find the beauty of nature, the smile of a child, a tiny moment of success or victory and rejoice in it.

My 4 year old declares best day ever all the time, but really, he’s not wrong. Treat every day as though it has the potential to be the best day ever. I mean, I know there are those days when it is not. Life happens. There are things that are out of our control. The only thing you can do is try to look to the next day as an opportunity for something better. If you continue that day by day, you will see doors open where you only saw a brick wall before.

A 4 year old rarely sees limitations. My son, when told he is not ready for a game because of the degree of reading required, said he was going to work on reading a book so he could play it tomorrow. He has since figured out it takes time, but that zest hasn’t died down. His determination and drive are still pushing on, albeit in small spurts!

Like a 4 year old, we also have to take breaks! Any activity done for too long has the potential to overwhelm the body and mind. Give yourself a guilt-free break! You will be refreshed when you return, your creative juices will flow more freely, and you will be ready to dive in again if you give yourself time to take a break.

Read children’s books. All of my kids love to huddle together and enjoy a book together sometimes. There is power in the illustrations and concise poetry of children’s literature. I have read books with my kids that have brought tears to my eyes. They are meaningful and important. Take a trip to the library, whether you have kids or not, and browse the children’s books. I promise it is worth your while.

I hope that some of these things speak to you, and that you will continue to look at young people with intrigue to the lessons they can teach us. I know I will.

Life Lessons from My 4 Year Old

  1. Be confident in your purpose and ability to make a positive impact. You can change the world!
  2. We all have bad moments. Don’t live in them. Look for and embrace the joy around you.
  3. Every day is a new day full of possibilities. Make it awesome!
  4. Pursue excellence and look beyond perceived limitations.
  5. Give yourself time to recharge.
  6. Read children’s books!

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